Is trust all it’s cracked up to be?

First, as I typed “all it’s cracked up to be” the phrase struck me as quite odd. So, I looked up it’s origin. Strange. The Phrase Finder

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I have asked myself and many others have asked me, if I will ever be able to trust my husband again. I realize there are about a bazillion memes stating that if you don’t have trust in a relationship, you don’t have anything. Google definition of trust: firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something. I have always believed trust is really important, and before discovery, I blindly trusted Blue Eyes. I trusted he would do right by me. I guess my question now is… what am I supposed to have trust in? Trust that Blue Eyes won’t lie to me… anymore? Won’t lie about anything, or just specific things that I have defined? That Blue Eyes won’t hurt me, again? That Blue Eyes won’t let me down? I would venture to say we all lie to our partner at one point in time, and we hurt each other whether we mean to or not. I realize of course, that some lies, and some hurts, are much more devastating than others.

I trusted my husband, he broke my trust, and now it is much more difficult to trust. It is much more difficult to trust anyone. Even if I left my husband and eventually found another mate, I don’t think I would ever fully trust that person. Perhaps my ability to trust is broken. I’m pretty sure I would be okay with not fully trusting anyone again. Trust is a very tenuous proposition because it is built on only what we know to be the truth. And we will never truly know everything about another person. I SO took this for granted before discovery. I just assumed if I was honest, people would be honest with me, and especially Blue Eyes would be honest with me. HUGE assumption that turned out not to be true.

The real lesson I believe I have learned since discovery is to temper my trust, to define it better. Even if I can’t fully trust someone, because he broke that trust and I am having a difficult time dealing with that, that doesn’t mean I don’t want to be with him. I do, want to be with him. This is a choice I am making by myself, for myself, knowing everything that I know. No one else can understand how I feel about Blue Eyes. We are approaching our 28th wedding anniversary and 33 years of being together. He is my best friend. He is the father of my children. I don’t hate him, even on the worst of days, I don’t hate him. I love him. But… I’m not sure I will ever completely trust him to confide his deepest, darkest secrets, or his truest self to me in the future. His life will not remain stagnant, things are going to come up. I guess what I have trust in is that my husband loves me and he wants to be my partner and therefore he is doing everything he can to be that recovered guy who doesn’t keep hurting me. No one knows whether he will maintain his sobriety for the rest of his life, or frankly, for the rest of the week. No one really truly knows anything or everything about any other person. There are no guarantees. There are men and women sitting next to their partner right now, feeling quite confident that s/he is faithful, not knowing that that person has betrayed them in the past or is betraying them right now. And they can say they haven’t, and lie, and how do we really know? I have read many a blog in which the cheater is rationalizing their cheating because of one thing or another. They feel neglected by their spouse, their feelings are hurt and apparently they have the maturity of a five year old, they relate better to their affair partner, the sex is just better with the affair partner, etc, etc. In my mind, these are very shallow and selfish ways to look at what I consider really bad and hurtful behavior. Unless you have an open marriage in which everyone is following the rules, it’s bad. In order for there to be a fair playing field, truth must be out on the table. It is not fair for a cheater to talk about their spouse and how their behavior affects the marriage unless they have been completely honest about their cheating. Most do not divulge the truth because they know the consequences will be devastating. Life is full of challenges and disappointment. Being lied to by the person you thought was your best friend is like a knife to the heart. It should not be easily rationalized away. Ignorance is not bliss. In a perfect world, we would all know what is going on in our life and make decisions accordingly. What I do have though, as a betrayed spouse who now knows if not all of the truth, at least enough to know what has transpired behind my back, is the ability to make my own decisions and choices once I did find out those destructive truths. Having the truth and knowing I am able to make choices is very powerful.

All that said, we are traveling back to Los Angeles for business… another summer-ish trip to LA, the scene of one of my husband’s crimes. He didn’t actually take the other woman there, but he did spend a great deal of time four years ago attempting to break things off with her, encroaching on my time with him during an anniversary trip. Over the many months of torturous discovery, I learned through phone records mostly, because those don’t lie, that he had talked with and texted with her quite obsessively. We have now been back to LA a few times since then, staying at the very same hotel we stayed at back in 2013 for our anniversary. As a matter of fact, we stayed at the Century City Intercontinental in August, 2013, and also in May 2014 (a few months post discovery… but before I knew about the phone records) and June 2016 (Breakfast Conversation).

This time around, I have decided to pick a different hotel, a better hotel, my favorite Los Angeles hotel. I know I won’t be triggered in Los Angeles. I believe Blue Eyes isn’t in contact with the other woman or any other woman, or even behaving badly in other ways. I guess you could call that a form of trust, I don’t know, belief in and trust, what’s the difference? At this point, in order to keep my wits about me, I have let all that fear and obsession go. I didn’t know about his secret life, but the truth is, neither of us knew he was an addict. Things are very very different now than they were before discovery and even over the past couple of years. I have the very distinct belief that my husband loves me and he doesn’t want to do anything to jeopardize our partnership (he thought he had that before, because I wasn’t ever going to find out his secrets, remember?) and at this point he believes that losing his sobriety, as bad as it is for his own mental health, would be devastating to “us.” I know not hurting me again won’t be enough to truly fight his addiction demons at the worst of times, but not losing his best friend is very important to him and does factor in. Trust at this point is tenuous at best. I believe he is on a good path now. And if I believe something to be true, and I find out it isn’t, it is impossible to devastate me again at this point, because what I do know now, is that no one deserves blind trust. I know what Blue Eyes is capable of now, and I know why. That brings me more peace than thinking about all the negative possibilities for our future together. I see happiness for us.

Wise trust assesses the probability of betrayal, in recognition that we are all frail creatures capable of betrayal in weaker moments (or in Kat’s words, have betrayed previously). Realistically, it’s possible that any of us could betray a loved one. Blind trust denies this darker characteristic of human nature; suspiciousness exaggerates it. Wise trust is an assessment that the probability of betrayal is low. (credit: Steven Stosny, Ph.D., Trust and Betrayal, Psychology Today Jan. o3, 2014)

At this point, I’m throwing the probability of betrayal and the trust that it won’t happen again, out the window and am focusing on my own happiness, which only I have the power to control. I now have what I guess Dr. Stosny would call Wise trust, plus belief in myself. For me that means that I trust that no matter what happens with my husband, I know I will be okay. Good even. Great even! Wow this was a shitty lesson that had to be learned the really really hard way. But I’ve got it now.

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And then there’s this beautiful creature blankly staring at me as I type. There’s very little of consequence going on in that little brain. She’s not the sharpest tool in the shed, as they say. But Stinky (a.k.a. Tinkerbell) is mighty adorable. Ah, some days I would very much like to be a cat.

38 thoughts on “Is trust all it’s cracked up to be?

  1. So true, that we can never know what anyone is thinking. Because I shared my honest thoughts with my H, I assumed he did the same. He certainly seemed to all those 30 yrs. He never lied about anything to anyone except of course the big lie that was his double life. I was much more the one to tell the white lie about not attending a party I didn’t want to go to or why I didn’t want to see someone. So, yeah, we never know. I know no one in my group trusts their SA partner and some have 16, 20 yrs sobriety. Maybe that is the lesson here. I’m still working this one out. Kudos to those of you that are at peace with it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I dint know if it’s si much about being at peace with lack of trust but accepting that which we cannot change.

      One would be a fool to fall back into that trust state again after all we’ve been through. This stuff changes you forever. You can never go back.

      And just what is the big deal about trust? Heck we all had it and how did that work out for us?? Just like everything, it works until it doesn’t work. It’s imperative to accept and detach from the desire to trust or forgive.

      There’s too much pressure on what makes a good relationship. I’d say my relationships are better now that I don’t trust.

      It’s just another way to live your life. Because life is either too short or too long to sweat all the damn details. Do what works for you I say.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not sure at peace with it is really how I feel. More like blindly trusting turned out to be living in fantasy land. I had to realize I would never know everything and that there are absolutely no guarantees and in order to stay, I had to be okay with it. Menopause is emotionally kicking my ass and It has been difficult for me to figure out where all the emotions are coming from. What I can do, however, is focus on me and let BE focus on himself and that has brought me peace.

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  2. “For me that means that I trust that no matter what happens with my husband, I know I will be okay. Good even. Great even! Wow this was a shitty lesson that had to be learned the really really hard way. But I’ve got it now.”

    These words are what really stand out for me in this post. We can get to that point. It is possible to grow and heal and become a stronger woman that will be more than okay with whatever is around the corner. Hope is real.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As I’ve learned over the past 4 years, I will never fully trust him but I have accepted the level of trust I have now as enough to stay with him. Hopefully his actions will help to slowly move up the trust ladder. He’s a much happier man being his true self.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think the important thing is that we potentially know ourselves better now. We know our limits and we have become stronger in certain ways because of the tragedy. It is so very important that these men can live a happier and more honest life now. It truly is never too late. And, we always have choices about how we proceed with our own lives. Trust is tenuous. Being true to ourselves is more important, true to our instincts, our needs, our wants, our happiness, we each must do this, both the betrayer and the betrayed. The trauma of the moment makes this feel all too overwhelming, but eventually, we learn a lot from it. A lot about the world and about ourselves. I’m planning on listening to the EP series later today. xx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wise trust assesses the probability of betrayal, in recognition that we are all frail creatures capable of betrayal in weaker moments (or in Kat’s words, have betrayed previously). Realistically, it’s possible that any of us could betray a loved one. Blind trust denies this darker characteristic of human nature; suspiciousness exaggerates it. Wise trust is an assessment that the probability of betrayal is low. (credit: Steven Stosny, Ph.D., Trust and Betrayal, Psychology Today Jan. o3, 2014)

    Freaking on point!

    I am with you 100%. Trust is subjective to all of us. I believe in Wise Trust, Trust but verify, or just plain listen to your gut.

    Great post

    Liked by 2 people

      • I don’t want to start a shitstorm here so I won’t get into any details. But the relationship changed drastically a year and a half ago and I am certain he has moved on to another. He is an attention whore.

        I caught him in some significant lies several years ago, and then found out about some others he told shortly after we met that were very fundamental to my understanding of him.

        He is very much like Blue Eyes as Kat describes him here, but I have no way of knowing if he ever had any physical affairs. Ours never even came close to that.

        Liked by 2 people

          • I never “wanted” him as in a traditional relationship, but I was very hurt. I totally believed in him professionally and personally. He is a fraud, and that was a very hard thing to accept. We still talk but it is very superficial.

            Liked by 1 person

        • Hey B, I love it when you join in. We have determined numerous ways in which BE and your friend are indeed similar. I’m sorry that he broke your trust. He obviously had his own selfish agenda. Nice thing about you though, a rolling stone gathers no moss (in a totally good way). xx

          Liked by 1 person

          • You wrote awhile ago about the issue of being taken for granted. Getting sick of that was my turning point with him. I BEGGED him not to, many times. He never “got” it, and never made any attempt not to. He had multiple serious crises over the 8 or so years–some really serious and tragic stuff, and some of his own doing–and I was always there in for him, but when I needed support (though my stuff was much less dramatic) he just kept talking about himself. And I would always listen. After his last very serious crisis I completely withdrew emotionally, and have refused to see him for more than a year and a half, though he has asked a bunch of times.

            Ok everyone I do not mean to upset any of you here. Really.

            Like

            • I’m certainly not upset, and many of the commenters at this point are well into their healing. Plus the fact that your friend is not our husband and almost all of our husbands had sexual relationships outside the marriage. I do think your friend has some of the same issues as BE but no desire to change. You have said before you weren’t compatible anyway for a long term intimate relationship with him, and he was too needy and selfish to recognize a friendship when he had it. You don’t have to apologize here. I know the void he left cannot be filled by anyone else. Thank goodness you are strong and independent and have a really fulfilling life, but it is always sad to have to give up a friendship or when friends just plain behave badly! xx

              Liked by 1 person

              • It is impossible for me to quantify how much reading this blog has helped to keep me grounded in that relationship. Often when I would think about “just going back” and hoping for “different” from him, you’d post something that I could not “un-see”.

                As an aside, he called me this morning (have not talked in 3 weeks) and he kept the focus on me and my job for a very long time. It was almost as though he read what I wrote here yesterday!

                Liked by 2 people

      • Hey, TH… I do agree about the lies, but I think the AP (I don’t consider B an AP, but her friend wasn’t honest with his wife about his friendship with B, so he is definitely lying to get what he wants, attention) is the outlet. The mistress is lied to about the wife and about how desperately he wants the outlet from his “real life.” Truth is, most of these men do not want out of their marriage, they merely don’t want to work hard enough anymore to convince the wife they that have serious needs that aren’t being met. After decades of marriage, we’ve heard it all, right? Their emptiness or unhappiness is usually not about the wife at all. It is so much easier for the cheaters to find a sympathetic ear from someone else whose job it is to agree with him and sympathize with him. The AP is getting a few of her needs met and believing she is somehow better than the wife. Again, not saying this about B (since I’m in the middle of her thread) as her situation is completely different than what most of our husbands sought out (i.e., sex). I guess at this point, I know my husband lied about me to the OW, he did this after her prompting of how could I not know about their relationship and why did he “need” to see her if I was all that. It is just not about us, but about these broken men and lies keep the sick fantasy going.

        Liked by 1 person

        • So, he barely talked about his relationship with his wife except in the most mundane context. ..for the most part. Things they did, etc.
          He did betray her trust quite a bit by talking quite a lot to me about her bad relationships with their kids, her family, his family, and her friends. But didn’t complain much about his marriage. He mostly wanted to talk about himself nonstop.

          Like

    • Fun article, B. I do love cats, but we’re not getting any more after these two. They are quite temperamental. 🙂

      I think trust is overrated, and our expectations usually bite us in the end. I would like to hear more if you feel like emailing.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Maturity of a five-year old. Ain’t that the fucking truth. An interesting post Kat. I cannot pretend to even like The Husband. What he did is unforgivable and I cannot spend the rest of my life with him. What a waste of this short time we have on earth! 🌏 I don’t want to be miserable or suspicious or stressed in that way. I applaud you — you have been through hell with that horrible hurtful bitch known as your MIL. You are living your life and moving through your days together. Love and hugs to you. 🐨 SWxo

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, SW strangely I came upon a post today by a cheater and he somehow insinuated that his discontent in his marriage has everything to do with his wife, and she doesn’t satisfy him sexually anymore and supposedly he has told her all this but she doesn’t care??? so he is cheating behind her back, instead of, you know, calling it quits??? Bullshit I say. All that rationalization makes me sick. Poor fucking baby. Made me think of a spoiled child who’s Mommy wouldn’t buy him candy so he stole it anyway. Everything is always someone else’s fault. I also read the Pilot’s Wife today. UGH. All that prompted this sort of disjointed post. And I agree, sometimes all the baggage is just too much and moving on is the answer. I guess my point is no one should feel trapped. We all have choices! At this point trust is all wrapped up in do I have any control over anything that anyone else does? Nope. So I’m not going to let it control me. I don’t want to have anything to do with the in-laws, but me and BE, we’re having a lot of fun! Oh man, that Koala. I want to hold another Koala! 😉 xx

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yep, sounds like bullshit to me, too. Haven’t been over to Pilot’s Wife in a while…what’s happening over there? Koalas are here waiting for you. Next time let me know you’re coming! 🐨🐨🐨 SWxo

        Liked by 2 people

        • I meant the mediocre novel, The Pilot’s Wife. Is there a pilot’s wife blog too? Regarding the book, I appreciated the sentiments of the wife (the real wife) and there were a few nuggets, but as far as the mistress and everything that was rolled up in that, too much for me. The guy actually was two different people. Kinda my point… do we ever really know anyone. Next time I’m in Australia, I’ll definitely let you know! We totally missed out on Hamilton Island. 😘

          Liked by 1 person

          • Ha, yes, there is a Pilot’s Wife blog — that’s what I thought you were referring to! Haven’t read the book but doesn’t sound like something I could stomach anyway.
            I’d say that we don’t ever really know anyone. All of us thought we “knew” our husbands. Turns out we didn’t. Having that trust obliterated messed with our heads big time. Once bitten, twice shy. Won’t be making that mistake again. SWxo

            Liked by 2 people

            • Exactly, trust is overrated. I know now to live in the moment and know that I am strong enough to handle just about anything my partner throws at me. We were bitten, but I like to think of it as being poisoned with a super power. Power to smell bullshit from a mile away. xoxo

              Liked by 2 people

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